BY DIANCA POTTS mewithoutYou’s super sold out CD release show started off with Greensboro hip-hoppers Urban Sophisticates. Currently signed to Right Hook Records, the classy stylistics of MC Benton James rocked the Troc to the back beat of the act’s rock-funk jam band sound. A surprising opener for Tooth and Nail’s mwY, Urban Sophisticates’ squeaky clean but catchy “Head Nod Head Rock” got hands in the air and ample applause by the song and set’s end. Quickly thanking the crowd and the evening’s headliner, the southern sextet turned the stage over to New Jersey’s Danielson.
Dressed alike in uniforms like WWII cadets or the Andrews Sisters, Danielson faced their crowd with smiles, lined out across the stage. Taking a more low key approach than the evening’s openers, their set was unfortunately coupled with noise pollution compliments of their chatty crowd. Polite, wide eyed and quirky, Secretly Canadian’s God-friendly troubadours churned out a coupling of tracks plucked from their back catalog bringing to mind less low-fi Daniel Johnston and a more melodic Minutemen. Including upbeat numbers like “Animal In Every Corner” and “Two Sitting Ducks,” Danielson’s set finally gave way to mewithoutYou.
Starting things off with Catch For Us the Foxes’ “Torches Together,” Aaron Weiss’ frenzied vocals meshed fittingly beside Michael Weiss’ cultivated reverb and riffs. Dressed much like Moz, Marr, Joyce, and Rourke, each band member rocked out while sporting dress shirts, slacks and ties. Ditching his glasses and tweed suit jacket, mwY’s prolific front man flailed his arms and swayed recklessly across the stage, shouting out all the lines fans were hungry to hear. Picking up a well-worn guitar, Weiss without hesitation strummed out the fast paced acoustic intro to “Bullet to Binary (Pt. 2)” while spitting into the microphone the almost iconic throwback to [A? B] Life’s, “let us die.” Poetically enthralling and nearly theatrical, “Bullet to Binary (Pt. 2),” featured on It’s all crazy! It’s all false! It’s all a dream! It’s alright! picks up where Pt. 1 left off, adding in celibate sentiments shared by Neutral Milk Hotel’s “Song Against Sex.” The mellower “Messes Of Men” rendered Weiss into a sweaty shouting charismatic, discarding his tweed jacket before “Goodbye, I!” began. Pastoral like George Eliot, the song’s narrative proved vivid and emotive, urging listeners that “there’s a movement in our stillness” and they’re “bound to stand completely still.” Followed by “The Angel of Death Came to David’s Room,” Brother, Sister’s “A Glass Can Only Spill What It Contains” intro’s oscillation led to Weiss’ shouts of “what new mystery is this” enhanced by Rickie Mazzotta’s percussive genius and Greg Jehanian’s driving bass.
“Cattail Down” was followed by the instant crowd pleaser and favorite “January 1979,” causing friendly moshing to commence across the Troc. “Tie me up! Untie me!” inspired applause mid song at Weiss’ nonchalant confession and lyrical change stating, “I haven’t even thought about killing myself in almost five years.” It’s all crazy! It’s all false! It’s all a dream! It’s alright’s “The Fox, the Crow, and the Cookie,” premised “O, Porcupine!” during which Urban Sophisticates’ MC took the stage once again to lay down some rhymes during the song’s latter half. The orchestral “the King Beetle On A Coconut Estate,” composed by Joshua Stomper included a classy collection of strings, brass, and woodwinds. Ending with “Allah, Allah, Allah,” mwY’s freegan frontman thanked his band’s friends, family, and fans before a brief exit and a subsequent encore. After “Timothy Hay” and “A Sweater Poorly Knit,” mwY vacated the stage to chants of “one more song.”
[mwY setlist after the jump]
Bullet to Binary Pt. 2
Messes Of Men *
The Angel Of Death Comes to David’s room
A Glass Can Only Spill What It Contains
Every thought a thought of you
Tie Me Up Untie Me
the Fox, the Crow, and the Cookie
O, Porcupine (ben from Urbn Sophisticates freestyled)
the King Beetle on a Coconut Estate
Allah, Allah, Allah
A Sweater Poorly Knit